The shameless behaviour of Bollywood, which has stood by actor Salman Khan, is shocking. Here is a man who had killed one person and maimed others while driving under the influence. For over a decade this man has been free on bail to shoot films etc. while there are over a hundred thousand undertrials languishing in jails for years in India …their cases haven’t come up for hearing and they are in jail…some are known to spend more time as under trials in jail than the length of time if they were convicted. The term undertrial means the person is innocent until proven guilty. These poor people have no access to bail money so they remain in jail for the duration of their case. There are cases where undertrials have been innocent…but no one bothers about these wretched folk.
Here are some sobering statistics courtesy The Hindu: LINK
- Over 75% of prisoners in India are undertrials.
- Two of every three persons incarcerated in India have not yet been convicted of any crime.
- Men make up 96 per cent of all prison inmates. Nearly 2,000 children of women inmates live behind bars, 80 per cent of those women being undertrial.
- While most States have a little over twice as many undertrials as convicts, Bihar has a staggering six times as many.
“Excessive pre-trial detention violates undertrial prisoners’ rights to liberty and fair trial, and adversely impacts their life and livelihood,” said Divya Iyer, Research Manager at Amnesty International India.
Note: Actor Salman Khan was convicted today (May 6th) by an Indian Court of Culpable Homicide and sentenced to 5 years in jail. He was immediately given bail till Friday 8th. The case took 12 years! All the while the actor was out on bail. No such luck for over 100,000 thousand undertrials who don’t have the money nor ‘connections’ to get out of jail on bail.
Wake up India…this is shameful!